If you’ve driven down Gosforth high street, the Travel Bureau’s office is likely a familiar site. Anne Bromley is one of two managing directors, focussing on the B2B side of the firm.
Describe your role in no more than 100 words
I am the co-owner and joint managing director of Travel Bureau, an award winning corporate and leisure travel company based in Gosforth. Although my business partner and I are involved across all areas of the business, I particularly focus on the B2B side - Travel Bureau Corporate - helping our clients make the most of their business travel programme in a safe and cost-effective way.
What is it the company does?
Travel Bureau specialises in luxury tailor-made holidays, corporate travel management and bespoke group travel arrangements including MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and events).
Travel Bureau Corporate, the part of the business that I oversee, focusses on delivering a high quality, cost effective corporate travel management service, tailored to the specific needs of our individual clients. Our clients operate across all industries and sectors, local, national and international – a ‘one-size fits all approach’ does not work and it’s important we understand their objectives to deliver a service of quantifiable value.
Ultimately what we do is simplify the complexity of business travel by arranging a competitively-priced and seamless point-to-point travel experience which goes above the usual flight and hotel deal you may receive from others.
As part of our Consulting service, we recently launched a free travel health check offering companies a helping hand when it comes to planning their business travel. Looking at current processes, we make recommendations for improvement, ensuring best practice whilst satisfying duty of care requirements.
Give us a brief timeline of your career so far – where did you start, how did you move on?
I’ve worked at Travel Bureau since 1990 and always loved what the company represented so, when an opportunity arose to acquire the business with the former owners’ retirement, we were delighted to take over the helm and become employer rather than employee. Prior to that, I had pretty much worked exclusively within the travel industry - working as a resort representative, for a Greek tour operator and then Singapore Airlines – a great all-round foundation for a business such as ours.
What do you believe makes a great leader?
Passion, drive and authenticity. You need to enjoy what you do, be immersed in the industry and have a keen interest in developing yourself, your team and the business.
What has been your biggest challenge in your current position?
All businesses have their challenges but I would say the transition between performing an operational role within the business to a more strategic one was a personal challenge. We have such wonderful clients and I still miss that day-to-day interaction and buzz but the benefits of working with such a great team is knowing our clients are in more than capable hands, handling the day-to-day enquiries leaving me to concentrate on the bigger picture.
When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I used to fancy myself as a journalist as I loved writing and literature but then realised that it wouldn’t always suit my nature, not all stories revolve around ‘Mr Darcy’!
Any pet hates in the workplace? What do you do about then?
A lack of enthusiasm. We are privileged to work in such a fantastic industry, providing ample opportunities to explore the world, broaden the mind and experience things that you never would in your average nine to five. Of course, every job has its good and bad days, but it’s how you deal with those bad days that makes the difference.
Where do you see the company in five years’ time?
Well, the fact that Travel Bureau has just turned 55 highlights the importance of innovation and that investment in people and technology is vital to the longevity of any business. In five years’ time, we hope to be recognised in the eyes of our clients, competitors and suppliers alike, as one of the UK’s leading and most desirable independent travel planning and management consultancies because of our efficient and effective people-focused approach.
What advice would you give to an aspiring business leader?
You should continuously assess, and be aware of, your strengths and weaknesses. Harness your own skills and build a team to provide support for the things you’re not so good at. But mostly importantly, if something isn’t working, don’t be afraid to change it!